Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

History lessons

(33 Posts)
Foxglove77 Sun 21-Feb-21 19:18:06

When I was at school and chose my options, I gave up history. I have no knowledge of kings and queens and yet I am a royalist. I am a huge fan of the Queen. I can never answer those questions on The Chase about kings and queens and wives of times past. I would love to study and learn. But where to start? Any suggestions? Thanks

PamelaJ1 Sun 21-Feb-21 19:20:04

My sister has a poster of the royal family tree on the wall opposite the loo. Might that help?😂

welbeck Sun 21-Feb-21 19:25:06

maybe it's because you did not study history very deeply that you are such a fan of the monarchy...

Foxglove77 Sun 21-Feb-21 19:28:44

Welbeck I am now watching The Crown and indeed this has increased my fascination!

suziewoozie Sun 21-Feb-21 19:32:19

I honestly think that is by studying social and economic history that we come to really understand today ( and that’s what matters)

Foxglove77 Sun 21-Feb-21 19:33:48

PamelaJ1 I could not have posters in my toilet. So unhygienic. Each to their own

Alegrias1 Sun 21-Feb-21 19:37:19

My first suggestion Foxglove77 is to get on BBCi and check out their "The Story of the British Isles" strand. Lots of interesting programs there to get started with.

My second suggestion is to stop watching The Crown! grin

Foxglove77 Sun 21-Feb-21 19:49:43

Susiewoozie I am astonished at how similar the Harry and Meghan situation is to Edward 8th and Mrs Simpson. Fascinating!

Nicegranny Sun 21-Feb-21 19:50:03

Foxglove
The crown is just made for entertainment and only touches roughly on situations not accurately. Enjoy it but don’t take it too seriously. I found it entertaining.
History books are your best bet.

Foxglove77 Sun 21-Feb-21 19:53:54

Nicegranny yes of course thank you, I realize it is dramatized. However I never knew the Queen was so close to Winston Churchill.

silverdragon Sun 21-Feb-21 19:55:57

Gosh, there are so many titles out there. How much detail of each one do you want?

Arness.publishing.com do some lovely titles. Check under Reference, and then History. They've got 4 pages of titles so do go through so you don't miss any. When you click on the cover you'll be able to look inside the book.

The Oxford Illustrated History of the British Monarchy (Oxford Illustrated Histories) is good as well.

Good luck. If you want a full biography of an individual do post.

Ealdemodor Sun 21-Feb-21 19:56:08

Foxglove - history is my passion, and I love sharing it.
There are loads of books available, and, hopefully one day when we return to normal life, you will be able to visit places of historic interest, or go to talks and join courses.
There are lots of opportunities out there. Maybe start with your own locality and family.

welbeck Sun 21-Feb-21 19:58:11

we only did a very narrow part of history in secondary school.
most of what i know i have gleaned from tv, radio, and some basics from junior school.
also tangentially from studying other subjects, parts of law, politics, philosophy, literature, cultural trends, social psychology. but nothing in depth, just snippets here and there.
i think you can learn a lot from reading or listening on radio to biographical works, and analyses of political movements.
look on internet, bbc etc; there is masses of material.

welbeck Sun 21-Feb-21 20:04:40

Foxglove77

Nicegranny yes of course thank you, I realize it is dramatized. However I never knew the Queen was so close to Winston Churchill.

was she close to him.
i haven't seen the crown.
i realise he was PM for a short time during her reign, but do we actually know that they were close.
obviously she would have met him during the war, at BP, when he came to see the king.
i suppose that dramas can give a way in to understanding or at least an interest in historical figures.
but i think it is a mistake to think of significant history only in terms of the toffs. the downton effect. quite misleading.

annodomini Sun 21-Feb-21 20:07:52

I don't know how far back you want to go or what areas you want to cover. You might like to look at some of the history books published by Dorling Kindersley for children, just to give you a framework of what happened and when it happened. Andrew Marr's History of the World looks interesting and I might even get it for myself next time someone gives me an Amazon voucher!
I agree with Alegrias. The Crown is not history!

paddyanne Sun 21-Feb-21 20:18:17

We've been watching Scotland from the Sky ,you'll find it om IPlayer.Its been very good at telling history ,the ironworks in Wester Ross in the 16th century ,the Roamns in Scotland and loads more really good stuff.Well worth a watch.
Dont watch Neil Oliver though his "history" is tainted ..he insists the Highland Clearances (when 1 and a quarter MILLION Scots left their homes and country in just a couple of years was) economic immigration .Thankfully the Scotland from the Sky told the true story .

Foxglove77 Sun 21-Feb-21 20:20:49

Welbeck I visited Highclere Castle aka Downtown Abbey and bought two signed books by the Countess of Carnarvon. The first one covers the first world war and was explicit but compelling. Ths second the second world war and later also fascinating. The facts were taken from the Highclere estate with families serving for decades. Also facts from the visitor books held there.

Grandma70s Sun 21-Feb-21 20:29:41

Much of my knowledge of kings and queens comes from a book I was given at the age of 13 in Coronation year, 1953. It’s called Kings and Queens, and has memorable comic verses about our monarchs. Example, on Henry VIII:

Bluff King Hal was full of beans
He married half a dozen queens.
For three called Kate he cried the Banns,
One called Jane, and a couple of Annes.

All you need to know.

I think it’s by Herbert Farjeon, still available second hand from Amazon..

Franbern Mon 22-Feb-21 11:19:49

I love history - always my main subject. Nothing to do with dates and Kings, Queens, Emperors, etc. It is social history that is my passion. What and how people ate, dressed, worked, etc. etc. etc.

Good historical fiction is one of the best book genre's.

Finally, one of my g.children has said that she wishes to take History at A level -and onto her degree.

Alexa Mon 22-Feb-21 11:27:41

Foxglove77, history of kings and queens is not interesting no wonder you disliked history at school. The biography of some king,queen, or duchess etc can be interesting if it is well written.

Many people nowadays prefer the history of how ordinary people lived their lives long ago.

Alexa Mon 22-Feb-21 11:34:33

I have just finished reading four historical novels by Rosemary Sutcliffe . She is a super story teller, and her knowledge of how people lived long ago is very detailed. You have to be not too afraid of violent horrors though, such as soldiers' horses being horribly wounded or drowning in a bog. Or what it really felt and smelled like to be a galley slave.

suziewoozie Mon 22-Feb-21 11:37:21

Absolutely Alexa ( your last sentence). EP Thompson’s seminal work, first published in 1963 , The Making of the English Working Class gave a whole new meaning to our history and what is meant by history and who it’s really about. As he wrote in the preface to one of the later editions

"I am seeking to rescue the poor stockinger, the Luddite cropper, the "obsolete" hand-loom weaver, the "utopian" artisan, and even the deluded follower of Joanna Southcott, from the enormous condescension of posterity." (Thompson, 1980: 12)

But what’s happening in this country atm about attacking those who want an accurate and full depiction of our history ( warts and all) is truly shocking. History how it is taught how it is written about and how it is presented is always deeply political and all the more so when its selective nature is denied.

Dee1012 Mon 22-Feb-21 11:40:01

The Open University offer lots of free courses under their OpenLearn section.
There are 3 levels: Level 1 Introductory, Level 2 Intermediate and Level 3 Advanced.
Some fascinating topics to enjoy and learn!

growstuff Mon 22-Feb-21 11:43:17

History is about much more than kings and queens (in fact, they're not always very relevant). It's not even about how people used to live. It's about understanding the "big picture" and gives insights into why we are where we are now socially, economically and politically.

Sarnia Mon 22-Feb-21 11:50:38

FutureLearn have free courses on history. I have completed 2 courses over the past few months. The first one was on Royal Fashion from the Tudors to the present day run by the University of Glasgow and the other was on Richard III run by Leicester University. They have several other courses on various topics.